warning-coloration

warning coloration

noun Biology.
a bold, distinctive pattern of color characteristic of a poisonous or unpalatable organism, as the skunk or the monarch butterfly, that functions as a warning to and defense against predators.

Origin:
1925–30

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
warning coloration   (wôr'nĭng)  Pronunciation Key 
Conspicuously recognizable markings of an animal that serve to warn potential predators of the nuisance or harm that would come from attacking or eating it. The bold patterns of skunks and the bright colors of poison arrow frogs are examples of warning coloration. Also called aposematic coloration. Compare camouflage.
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